Shambhala Music Festival has been postponed to 2021. File photo

Virtual Shambhala Music Festival postponed due to allegations of sexual violence

Postponement announced following sexual violence allegations made against performer Billy Kenny

Organizers of the Shambhala Music Festival (SMF) in Salmo have put the event on hold due to allegations of sexual assault.

A woman reported a sexual assault by UK performer Billy Kenny to SMF three years ago before going public on social media last week.

Three separate allegations involving Kenny soon followed and were shared on Twitter, condemning Shambhala for including Kenny in the line up despite the alleged assaults.

In response, on July 13, SMF removed Kenny from the July 23-25 online show, however, four days later, as outrage grew on social media, organizers announced they decided to postpone the festival to review their policy and offer an apology.

“In light of allegations against past and present artists on our performance roster, we recognize that forms of sexual assault exist in our society and we take accountability for the role festivals play in this,” read Shambhala’s Twitter release.

“The industry needs to change, we need to change.”

The festival, which has been running since 1998, has been a popular annual pilgrimage and unique cultural experience for electronic dance music (EDM) fans across the world. In recent years, more than 17,000 people descended on the 500-acre property along the Salmo River just east of the small West Kootenay Village for the four day festival.

Kenny initially replied with a post on Facebook, but after a litany of additional damaging accounts, the Leeds artist has shut down all his social media accounts.

Shambhala also said it would take a social media break as it updates its practices and focuses its commitment to prevent further sexual misconduct at its events.

“We would like to offer our sincerest apologies to all of those affected and thank those who displayed the courage to speak out.

“Our next step will be to work with our team to determine the best course of action. This is an opportunity for us to look forward and to improve the way we run our festival. We acknowledge that we can do better to ensure that our team, guests and artists align with our values and we commit to using the lessons learned to reduce the potential for future harm.”

In the release, SMF pledges to conduct extensive background checks for artists and commit to a zero-tolerance policy for assault of any kind; further improve staff training regarding sexual harassment and violence; educate guests, crew and artists so that they fully understand what it means to receive consent; and train staff to respond to allegations promptly and appropriately.

The incident is just one of several recent controversies involving commercial EDM DJs like Graves, Space Jesus, Datsik and Bassnectar.



sports@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

music festivals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Spirit North Burns Lake conducting canoe, paddle board camp for indigenous kids

Rachelle van Zanten, the Community Program Director for the Burns Lake area… Continue reading

Chinook Community Forest holds open house and BBQ in Burns Lake

Chinook Community Forest held their annual open house and BBQ at the… Continue reading

Burns Lake’s much awaited Splash Park almost ready

The Radley Beach Splash Park is 95 per cent ready. According to… Continue reading

The freshly paved Fourth Avenue in Burns Lake

The paving for Fourth Avenue was recently undertaken along with pavement work… Continue reading

Broman Lake activity

Jakes Construction Ltd. from the Fraser Valley has set up an operations… Continue reading

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read